Duterte on nationwide smoking, liquor ban: Be brutal to protect public health
Presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will implement a nationwide smoking and liquor ban if he becomes the next chief executive to protect the welfare of Filipinos.
In his weekly show “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” which aired on Sunday, Duterte was asked on what policies which are currently being implemented in Davao would he impose on a national scale.
“Number one: no smoking… Since we have maintained that policy, we might as well continue,” the current leader of presidential preference polls said.
Davao City has been implementing an anti-smoking ordinance since 2002.
The tough-talking mayor said that in implementing an anti-smoking ordinance on a national scale, he would be lenient in the requirements pertaining to the determination of smoking areas.
“Just like Davao but you have to soften the rigors of the requirement, that there would be smoking areas but it should not be in a contained area.”
“If I make it to the Pasig, before I drown, it is really no smoking, and I said that you can have places where you can smoke because I know that nicotine is addicting and therefore if you are smoking and you get addicted to nicotine and you must have a fix for that day which your body would really look for, [especially in] moments of stress, merrymaking, drinking, [the policy] may hit thousands, even millions,” he said.
Duterte said that he is prepared to lose votes and is ready to face resistance in implementing the said policy as he only wanted to protect the health of Filipinos, most especially those of non-smokers.
“This particular law or ordinance is not really intended to deprive you of your fix for the day, but [because] nicotine is a cancer-causing merchandise; I have to protect those who are not smoking,” he said.
“Everybody would hate me for that. And it could cost me votes for the presidency… But I’m sorry. In face of dire warnings about cancer, then so be it. If I lose, fine. But there are some policies that I am not willing to barter away… I am prepared to win and I am prepared to lose, if there is a cause that would cost my candidacy, fine. That is my fate,” he added.
Davao’s anti-smoking ordinance prohibits smoking smoking in government-owned vehicles, accommodation and entertainment establishments, partially enclosed public spaces, public buildings and public outdoor spaces.
Residents of the city are also prohibited to smoke in concerts, rallies, and other public gatherings.
Another policy that he would like to implement is a nationwide liquor ban and the closure of establishments offering alcoholic beverages by 3 in the morning.
“There’s always a time for drinking. There is always time to sleep, a time to be hospitalized because of drinking. A time to die because of cancer. A time to get drunk and not until the wee hours of the morning. There has to be compromise there. All entertainment houses must be closed by 3 in the morning,” Duterte said.
He said that while bars and entertainment centers cater to smokers and alcoholic drinkers, the health condition of the workers in these establishments should also be prioritized.
“But how about the waiters inside? How about the cashiers? The singers? They might get cancer due to smoking?” the mayor asked.
In the end, Duterte reasoned that he had to be brutal so that he can protect the interests of the public.
“Bakit ko ginagawa ito? Para sa kapakanan ng mga Pilipino. It is to protect public health… If you have to protect the public, you must brutal about it,” he said.
For the past 14 years, Davao City has imposed a ban on the sale of liquors at 1 a.m.
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